Coming Home by Tu Vuong

Coming HọmẹComing Họmẹ by Tu Vuong
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I read poetry, I try to let it sort of wash over me like rain, because to capture all of the nuance in meaning at once isn’t possible at the first read. I admire Tu’s ambition of trying to create an arc to the book as well as compose each poem as a separate entity. I felt that the narrative was clear in terms of distant past, recent past and present. It’s hard to not separate my own rules for writing creatively from Tu’s unique voice and structure — illustrations nearby, titles at the end, and yet Tu emphasizes that my lens is not the lens by which to judge but to accept. If I can reach for an analogy — it’s like when my husband Tim asks me to watch a deeply science fiction film with him — I find it hard to engage when every aspect is completely unfamiliar. Yet in Coming Home there are 3 poems that stand out for me: Tears of Solace among Corpses for its profound sadness; Underlying conditions for its whistle-blowing dissonance; and Food is a Language of Love for its juxtaposition of obscure parenting. Overall, I hope Tu keeps writing and sharing the journey.

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